New sports ground approved

A planning image of the new sports complex
A planning image of the new sports complex

A pair of Wigan sports clubs are celebrating a planning victory after proposals for a vast new facility cleared another hurdle.

Members of the town hall's planning committee on Tuesday said they were "minded to approve" the bid for land close to Winstanley College.

It includes designs for two rugby pitches, one cricket pitch, a sports pavilion and a 100-space car park on the 13-acre site on agricultural land.

Known as the Orrell and Winstanley Community Sports Club, the facility will be the new home for Orrell RUFC and Winstanley Park Cricket Club.

The council has said the plan will receive its final seal of approval once agreements have been signed ensuring funding is in place to impose parking restrictions and a reduced speed limit on Winstanley Road.

Tony Havlin, Chairman of Orrell RUFC, said: "Now the hard work begins but we are up for the challenge of raising the funds needed to build our new home and provide facilities, albeit in the future, for not just the rugby and cricket clubs but the wider community as well”.

Tony Dillon, Chairman of Winstanley Park CC said: “Yes, it’s going to be hard but the end result will be fantastic for everyone concerned.”

Council officers had recommended that planning committee members approve the plan although 42 letters of objection had been submitted.

Objectors cited increased traffic and congestion, a detrimental impact on tenant farmers’ business in the area and potential flood or drainage issues as among their concerns.

One letter submitted to the town hall said: “Winstanley Road is horrendous with traffic taking no notice of the speed limit, the road is fast and very dangerous.

“It would inevitably introduce more traffic and therefore the road will carry more traffic.” It adds: “Local business will be destroyed.”

The planning report acknowledged that Winstanley Road “is busy at peak times” but adds the applicant has “agreed to fund a reduction in the speed limit from 60mph to 30mph.”